Check on your social media strategists, because it’s a whirlwind out there

Stressed out social media manager with her hands on her hand

What is equal parts vigorously exciting and incredibly annoying is the pace at which social media evolves. All it takes is one algorithm change or one business acquisition to throw off your entire strategy. Lucky for us (insert sarcastic face here), we’ve been hit with both in recent weeks.

Because of the rapidly changing social media landscape, by the time we hit “publish” on this post, there is a good chance new information will be released, and this will be outdated. But just the same, for those who are looking for some quick takeaways about what’s happening online, here are three things you should know.

Musk at Twitter may be bad for business

In case you missed it, in early April, Tesla CEO Elon Musk purchased a 9.1% stake in everyone’s favorite 280-character social media platform – Twitter. Shortly after, he was offered a seat on the board, and by day 10 of this journey, he made an offer to purchase Twitter for $54.20 a share. That’s a $43 billion offer – which went through. Musk claims Twitter has room to improve in the free-speech department, and he’s already begun making changes.

There is a new feature being beta tested called Twitter Circle, which lets you curate micro-communities so you can share certain Tweets with up to 150 people. We’re guessing this is Twitter’s take on the Close Friends feature on other platforms.

There are also some out-of-the-gate changes from Musk that may directly impact our work and that of our clients. According to CNBC, Musk indicated that businesses and governments will be required to pay to use Twitter – but as of now, no details about costs or exceptions have surfaced. Twitter will remain free for individuals on the platform. This pay-to-play model comes as an addition to the Twitter Blue program which launched 2021 for $2.99/mt. Twitter Blue gives access to enhanced features like undoing Tweets and creating an organized folder structure for bookmarked content. Musk also has commented on tweaking this program to have a reduced cost and the possibility of an ad-free experience.

New communities and channels are on the rise

Similar to the on-platform “Close Friends” features on well-established channels, having the ability to build a hyper-focused community of those who most closely share your likes, interests and ideologies is a new trend that appears to be taking hold – which may detract users away from what we’ve thought of as primary platforms. This can impact not only our organic community engagement strategies, but also how we slice the pie for our social media advertising spends.

Truth Social, the platform spearheaded by former President Donald Trump, officially launched this past February, but its CEO recently announced its web browser functionality will launch at the end of this month as its mobile application is pending approval for release in the Android app store.

Another example of a niche community is Somewhere Good, which was a biproduct of the pandemic. The feel-good co-creation app seeks to connect people based on their unique interests and to foster those relationships through its platform. The BIPOC-led company raised $3.75 million last year in a seed round led by a VC in Silicon Valley.

Content curators on Instagram may be dinged for their strategy

Look, some of my favorite accounts to watch on Instagram are meme accounts like @WhensHappyHR and @Betches. But thanks to a recent algorithm ranking update, these accounts may have to alter their strategies (if they haven’t already).

For example, while this post is hilariously awesome, it was posted to Betches’ main feed (with the proper credit, of course). This is the kind of publishing that may work against Betches’ rankings in the future.

Over the last couple of months, we have noticed more of these kinds of accounts publish content featuring their staffers, as opposed to relying solely on aggregating content from other creators. That’s because the head of Instagram  recently said that not only will original content be rewarded, but re-posting other creator’s content will actually work against you in the rankings. It sounds like this is going to be an iterative exploration, because what defines original? Does this impact only Feed posts vs. sharing to your Stories because a piece of content caught your eye?

The bottom line is, if you rely wholly on curating content from other creators, you better buy a ring light and start ideating your own material.

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Casey Prentice

A self-proclaimed organizational junkie and data geek who confesses to a secret desire to be a professional organizer, Casey enjoys account management, writing, editing and digital content strategy. Her agency work has helped clients like Virginia’s Community Colleges, VCUarts and Swedish Match.

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